Plain of Jars in Laos

Discover Laos Tour

Country: Laos

14 Days | $3,515

In this two-week trip you will go beyond the main tourist attractions and see the hidden highlights of this amazing country. Enjoy a kayaking adventure through caves in stunning Vang Vieng, meet the people living and working on the Mekong River, enjoy the night market in Luang Prabang and visit the mysterious Plain of Jars. Laos is so often overlooked or added on at the end of a tour, but with more time this beautiful and peaceful country really comes to life and can truly be an amazing trip all on its own.


Day 1   Vientiane: Arrival and Dinner Dance Show

You will arrive to Vientiane in the afternoon and transferred to check in to your hotel. In the evening you will be picked up for a traditional dinner including a Lao music and dance performance.

Meals included: Dinner

Overnight at Green Park Boutique Hotel – Deluxe Room

Day 2   Vientiane to Vang Vieng

After breakfast enjoy the north bound drive through beautiful landscape before reaching Vang Vieng in the early afternoon. Once you have reached Vang Vieng you will check in to a quaint riverside bungalow. Enjoy lunch before bicycling through the countryside and across the Nam Song River. Your first stop will be at one of the most famous caves, Tham Jang. It was used as a bunker during defense against the Chinese in early 19th century. The view from the cave, surrounding landscape and tranquil pools make this a must see.

From here, you will head out through the village of Ban Na Thong on a scenic dirt road for approximately 6km until you reach Tham Phu Kham. The Lao consider this the most sacred of the caves in Vang Vieng and contains a bronze reclining Buddha. After your decent from the 200m climb cool off with a dip in the inviting blue lagoon before heading back to town for the evening.

Meals included: Breakfast

Overnight at Thavansouk Resort – Garden View Room

Day 3   Vang Vieng: Kayaking on Nam Song River

In the morning you will be transferred from Vang Vieng to the Khmu village of Vieng Samay, about 10km north of Vang Vieng. After an introduction to the basics of kayaking, the Nam Song offers various small but fun rapids on the way to the first stop at the cave of Tham Nam Thaem. This cave cuts straight through the mountain, so one emerges on the other side of the range for some panoramic views of the Nam Kouang valley. A trek back over a small pass leads up to a Lao style picnic lunch on the riverside

The next stop is at an organic farm, where mulberry tea and a variety of fruit wines are produced. The Tham Non Cave lies further downstream. As one of the biggest caves in Vang Vieng, it served as a rescue shelter for the villagers during the Second Indochina War. Today it is home to a bat colony and ‘The Magic Stone of Vang Vieng’. The final leg is a gentle paddle – before returning to Vang Vieng in time to catch the sunset from the terrace of the Ban Sabai Riverside Bungalows.

Please note: Trekking to the caves will be a long walk and you will have to climb an incline. Make sure to bring along sturdy shoes for that portion.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Thavansouk Resort – Garden View Room

Day 4   Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang

After an early breakfast continue by private van with a new guide through the winding mountainous roads of the north. Stop and have lunch at a local noodle shop in Phou Khon.

Please note: The scenery on this drive is some of the best in the whole country but this long journey on the winding roads can be difficult at times.  If you become car sick , we recommend bringing medication to prevent nausea.

Arrive to Luang Prabang in the early evening and unwind with a massage or take a stroll through the night market.

Meals included: Breakfast

Overnight at Mekong Riverview Hotel – Superior River View Room

Day 5   Luang Prabang: Sunrise to Sunset

Wake up at sunrise to give the monks morning alms. You’ll be accompanied by your guide who can demonstrate the proper method of alms giving and explain this daily Buddhist ceremony. Return to your hotel for breakfast.  After you eat, your guide will take you on a tour of the city, which will include visits to The National Museum, Wat Xieng Thong, Wat Visun, Wat Aham and Wat Sen. Enjoy lunch at local restaurant.  Enjoy the early afternoon relaxing or walking around before you finish the day with a hike up Mt. Phou Si in the late afternoon to see a sweeping view of Luang Prabang and watch the sunset.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Mekong Riverview Hotel – Superior River View Room

Day 6   Luang Prabang: Temples and Villages on the Mekong

Today you will explore the villages and livelihoods of the locals living off of the Mekong River. After breakfast you will meet your guide and transfer to the boat pier on the Mekong. You will cross the river for Xieng Mien, in the district of Chomphet. Even though Xieng Mien and Luang Prabang are only separated by a short distance, you will quickly be able to see the differences between the two. Walk through the village lanes and visit three historic temples Wat Xieng Mene, Wat Chomphet and Wat Long Khoune. Afterwards you will join your boat and pick up your picnic lunch on the Luang Prabang side of the river before heading down to the pottery village of Ban Jan. Stroll around to observe this village which is centuries old and home to some interesting handicrafts. You might even want to further support the village and pick up one of the fun handmade trinkets sold by the locals.

Afterwards, head down river and take in the lush hilltops and serene river while on the less traveled stretch of the Mekong. Once you reach the fishing village of Ban Chompjua you will transfer to one of the local families’ fishing boats to join as they check traps. The styles and traps will vary depending on the season and level of the Mekong. Learn how time consuming the art of fishing is from the locals as they demonstrate the making of one of their gigantic fishing nets. You will then return to your long tail boat for a picturesque coast while you enjoy your picnic lunch and head for Ban Xing, the Lion Village. Take a walk around this village, believed to date from the 16th century, and see the remnants of a previous time. This farming and fishing village holds some of the oldest traditional homes near Luang Prabang. You will then join your village hosts in their home for a Lao baci ceremony. Your guide will explain this traditional blessing ceremony as you receive well wishes from elders in the village. After the ceremony you will travel up river back to Luang Prabang while taking in the setting sun.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Mekong Riverview Hotel – Superior River View Room

Day 7   Luang Prabang: Market & Village Tour and Kuang Si Waterfall

After you finish an early breakfast, you will visit the blacksmith village, Hat Hien. See the local craftsmen banging away to make the everyday tools to sell at the market. You have to go early since they only work in the morning. Afterwards, take a walk through the morning market to see what is for sale and observe locals buying their daily produce. Stop by Mr. Bounphaeng’s silver shop to get a closer look into this noisy, but fine art! Then take a walk through town observing how the modern and traditional methods coexist in everyday Lao life.  Visit the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre, a museum dedicated to the culture and customs of ethnic villages in Laos.

Enjoy lunch at the Ock Pop Tok Living Arts Center located on the Mekong River surrounded by a garden and artisans on the outskirts of town. Afterwards take a drive just to the outskirts of town to a village widely known for its weaving and mulberry paper handicrafts. Take the time to venture through the many shops to compare the many different techniques and designs emerging from these artisans. Take the opportunity to support them by buying directly from the source and stocking up on gifts to bring home.

After lunch, your guide will take you on a scenic drive to visit the stunning Kuang Si Waterfall. Driving through the countryside you may wish to stop along the way to visit a local village to observe a traditional Lao community. Before reaching the waterfall you can visit the Kuang Si Butterfly Park and the Free the Bears Projects to learn about these local organizations plight to educate on and protect native species. Once you reach the falls you can hike up to the many levels of the waterfall or take a dip in the serene pools before heading back to town.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Mekong Riverview Hotel – Superior River View Room

Day 8   Luang Prabang: Ock Pop Tok Weaving Course

You will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to tranquil Ock Pop Tok’s Living Crafts Center on the bank of the Mekong River for the Half Day Weaving Class, which will give you an introduction to weaving on a loom. Each student is assigned a loom and will have a guide and a weaver to help them learn the art of weaving. You will select two colors and will create a placemat sized piece with a Lao motif to take home. After the class, you will be transferred back to your hotel or dropped into town before lunch time.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Mekong Riverview Hotel – Superior River View Room

Day 9   Luang Prabang: Day at Leisure

You have the day free to explore on your own.

Meals included: Breakfast

Overnight at Mekong Riverview Hotel – Superior River View Room

Day 10   Luang Prabang: Phonesavanh

Depart Luang Prabang after breakfast for a seven-hour drive along the winding mountain roads to Phonesavanh, home of the Plain of Jars.

Please note: The scenery on this drive is some of the best in the whole country but this long journey on the winding roads can be difficult at times.  If you become car sick , we recommend bringing medication to prevent nausea.

On the way, you’ll stop to visit a Hmong hill tribe village and have lunch at a local restaurant. If there is time once you reach Phonesavanh, visit a local mulberry farm and weaving center before checking into your hotel for the evening.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Phouphadeng Auberge Plaine des Jarres – Standard Room

Day 11   Plain of Jars

After breakfast you’ll drive to see the second and third Plain of Jars sites. Cross over a bamboo bridge and walk through a local farm’s rice paddies to visit jars at Site 3.  Once you’ve had a look around, join back with the van and carry on to see Site 2. Enjoy the shade under the tree while taking in panoramic views atop Site 2. You will then drive to the Muang Khoun district for lunch. After lunch you’ll explore Wat Phia, where bombs destroyed the entire temple but left a giant Buddha statue fully intact, as well as visiting the overgrown That Foun Stupa. In the afternoon you will return to town and stop to see the impressive first site of the Plain of Jars. Take your time walking around the biggest and most picturesque of the sites before returning to your hotel for the evening.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Phouphadeng Auberge Plaine des Jarres – Standard Room

Day 12   Phonesavanh: Vientiane

Enjoy a relaxing morning at the hotel or venture out to see the morning market before continuing on to catch your flight for Vientiane.  (flight included)

Upon arriving to the capital of Laos, Vientiane, you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel.  Enjoy your day of leisure with a walk along the Mekong River at the Chao Anouvong Park or a relaxing spa treatment and choose amongst the many dinner spots in the quaint town centre.

Meals included: Breakfast

Overnight at Green Park Boutique Hotel – Double Deluxe Room

Day 13   Vientiane: City Tour with Buddha Park

After breakfast, meet your guide at 8:30am who will take you to Thong Kham Kam Market.  Here you will witness how the locals do their early morning food shopping in this large market.  Perhaps you will feel courageous enough to try some local delicacies.  Afterwards you will take a tour of the main temples and city sites including Haw Pha Kaeo, Wat Si Saket, Pha That Luang, Patuxai and Si Muang.

If you wish, enjoy lunch at Kong View along the Mekong River or at another restaurant recommended by your guide. Stop by the COPE center and gallery to learn about how they are helping the disadvantaged in Laos. You will then head out of the center of Vientiane for about an hour to Xieng Khuan Buddha Park. The riverside park is full of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures built by Luang Pu, a yogi-shaman that devoted his life to merging Hindu and Buddhist philosophy. Take a stroll around the park grounds and observe the crumbling concrete structures that were meant to help symbolize his aspiration to merge the two philosophies. The park should remain open until sunset. If it closes early then you will be able to stop at either Ta Dua Temple or Ta Na Lang Temple to catch the sunset along the river. Once back in town you will be dropped off at your hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Green Park Boutique Hotel – Double Deluxe Room

Day 14   Vientiane: Departure

You will be transferred to Phonesavanh Airport in time for your onward flight.

Meals included: Breakfast

Tour Rate: $3,515 per person based on two people traveling (double occupancy) with $2,785 single supplement

 Price includes:

  • Air tickets Phonesvanh – Vientiane
  • Boat tickets as specified above
  • Accommodation as specified above
  • Air-conditioned car/van with driver
  • Licensed English speaking guides
  • Tours and admission fees as mentioned above
  • Meals as specified in itinerary, including water

Price excludes:

  • Personal expenses
  • Visa fees
  • Airport tax
  • Drinks (except water) and meals not mentioned in itinerary
  • Tips
Pool in Luang Prabang

Laos For The Ladies: Luang Prabang Tour

Country: Laos

7 Days | $2,565

Traveling with your girlfriends can be a great escape and there is nowhere better for a girlfriend escape than Luang Prabang, Laos. A mecca for shopping, spas, culture and adventure, Luang Prabang offers something for everyone and is a great place for the girls to “fit it all in” and still leave feeling rested. Enjoy a massage at the lovely Phou Vao Spa, stroll the famous Night Market, and learn how to weave side-by-side with the locals. So get your girlfriends, mothers, and sisters together and have an adventure!

View this trip »

Monks collecting alms in Luang Prabang, Laos

One-day itinerary: Sunrise to Sunset in Luang Prabang

Country: Laos

1 Day

Waking at sunrise, you'll participate in the age-old custom of alms giving to local monks before embarking on a tour of the cultural heart of Luang Prabang. Enjoy lunch at a restaurant of your choice and end the day with a hike up Mt. Phou Si to watch the sunset overlooking the city. A wonderful introduction to this magical city.

View this trip »

Life along the Mekong River in Laos

One-day itinerary: Temples and Villages on the Laos Mekong

Country: Laos

1 Day

Explore the villages and livelihoods of the locals living off of the Mekong River in Laos. Explore important religious sites, enjoy a picnic lunch, learn what it's like to earn a living fishing the Mekong, and participate in a traditional Baci ceremony to round out your day.

View this trip »